Infrastructure challenges discussed at Federation of Municipalities meeting

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Federation of Prince Edward Island Municipalities logo. File photo

NORTH RUSTICO - Replacing the Building Canada infrastructure plan when it ends in 2014 dominated the Federation of Prince Edward Island Municipalities semi-annual meeting here Saturday.

Karen Leibovici, president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, discussed challenges facing long term infrastructure during the meeting, which saw approximately 90 officials from municipalities across the province attend.

Municipalities are facing uncertainty when it comes to what infrastructure funding will be put in place when the plan ends, she said.

"It's of great concern to municipalities because we are responsible for providing 60 per cent of the infrastructure in this country," Leibovici said.

He noted the federation has been working with the federal and provincial governments "to put together a proposal for a plan to replace the Build Canada Fund."

The $33 billion Building Canada plan was launched in 2007.

David Marit, chair of the federation's rural caucus and president of the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities, also presented with Leiobovici on the issue.

Marit said rural development needs to be recognized with assistance from both federal and provincial levels.

"Canada is an exporting nation," said Marit. "It's making sure we have the infrastructure for Canada to be competitive globally as we move forward, and for smaller communities to be able to do these projects."

The meeting also saw Gordon Garrison, policing services manager for P.E.I., give an overview of policing in the province.

Chris LeClair, a senior strategy advisor with McInnes Cooper, also gave a presentation on the effects of federal job cuts on P.E.I. municipalities.

Organizations: Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Building Canada, Federation of Prince Edward Island Municipalities Build Canada Fund Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities

Geographic location: RUSTICO, Canada, P.E.I.

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Recent comments

  • suggestions for ottawa
    January 13, 2013 - 11:13

    @ PM HARPER...... Don't give one cent of money for municipalities in PEI until this province gets its act together and MERGES with the other Maritime provinces. PEI should be a single municipality with 15 municipal councilors and a mayor and a single regional police department. Then and only then, give the Municipality of PEI infrastructure money. Otherwise, these 74 ineffective and pathetically managed municipalities and the equally ineffective and pathetically managed province of PEI will waste every single cent of that infrastructure money on local patronage and graft.

    • intobed
      January 13, 2013 - 20:00

      Destroying us as a province is not the answer. Government corruption is rampant among all the provinces. Your proposal would merely make PEI a small suburb of the mainland, a small part of a still corrupt larger province. What we need to do as Islanders is to eliminate the cause of the patronage and graft, namely the political parties. Divide PEI into 12 or 13 districts, and have each district elect a representative who is independent to represent them. The government then works as a "consensus Government" that uses a polling system to continually ask Islanders what they think about situations.

      January 15, 2013 - 16:38

      @ INTOBED I disagree. We are too small a population to be a province - if we are not able to pay for our services out of our own tax base, then we must merge our tax base into one that does. Having 500+ municipal & provincial politicians in a place the size of Kingston, Ontario or Moncton, New Brunswick makes zero economic sense. One thing I do agree with you on is the 12 or 13 districts - just make them municipal wards for the councilors that will be on the PEI Regional Municipal Council.

  • Why Plan B will always matter
    January 13, 2013 - 09:36

    It's not simple, but it's certainly related. The priority of funnelling hundreds of millions of tax dollars into projects like the Plan B fiasco has to stop. In more ways than one, that's what the Stop Plan B movement is all about. When Islanders talk of "not being plan'b again" we're saying that we want our priorities to meet the needs of the people, not the needs of politics. As a people, Islanders are smart enough to identify our own needs. What we need our government to do is help Islanders communicate our needs, not suppress and take control of them. Let's let all governments know that it's not in anyone's interest to be plan'b again!

    • W.Wilkins - why not give it a try?
      January 13, 2013 - 12:04

      If one of the primary jobs of the provincial government was to enable Islanders to sort, rank and communicate our needs in a visible way, it would be a different and perhaps a much better place to be. The thing is, in 2012 it wouldn't be that difficult. It would just mean taking advantage of our size and drawing upon the skills and imagination many of have already learned. Islanders pay for a very expensive public education system. Why doesn't the government provide a provincial venue and a purpose for the skills we possess? For myself, I'd support any political party that would move a "conversation policy" forward . . .

  • Garth Staples
    January 13, 2013 - 06:26

    I heard there were Liberal provincial Govt job cuts which are having an affect on municipalities not to mention Liberal provincial Govt programme cuts. Did anyone ever consider that the excessive number of municipalities on PEI have a negative impact on the delivery of services? 8 municipalities vs 75 would solve many funding problems. Look no further than your nose!